This is the kind of fast day I’m after:
to break the chains of injustice,
get rid of exploitation in the workplace,
free the oppressed,
What I’m interested in seeing you do is:
sharing your food with the hungry,
inviting the homeless poor into your homes,
putting clothes on the shivering ill-clad,
being available to your own families. (Isaiah 58:6-7, The Message)
For this coming Lent – think about what you can take on as well as what you will give up(fasting). For example – giving up Facebook – take on more prayer time/scripture reading when you would be on Facebook. Add more volunteer time to the local soup kitchens, homeless shelters, reading books to children at schools, visits to assisted living and nursing homes…
Giving up is great but if we go back to that habit unchanged, what’s the point? If we do not have a transforming of our lives because we giving up a bad habit, why did we give it up? If our relationship with God is not strengthen then we have wasted a lot of out time not eating that wonderful chocolate we had left over from the Valentine Day’s sale or keeping up with friends sharing their witty musings they found and shared with us.
So as you “contemplate” in these last hours before Ash Wednesday what you are giving up, make sure you add in some relationship building with God and your neighbor. Or make an appearance in worship, Bible Study or even start your own Bible Study, struggle with the hard questions with others – they probably have the same questions.
Whatever you do, make this a time of reflection, most of us don’t do it enough, including me.
“BUT what are you giving up?” As of this writing, I don’t know. I still have today to figure it out.